Intruders: Hide and Seek Review
Intruders: Hide and Seek seemed like a scary game at first, but not for the reason I expected. As I sat in the back seat of a car, riding to my family’s vacation home, I looked around (this being a VR game of course). Beside me sat a figure that looked like a possessed mannequin talking to me in an odd stilted voice, its head swiveling slowly towards me like Bride of Chucky. But it turns out, this was just supposed to be my little sister, and we were just driving with our parents as a happy family on vacation.
Ok, so the character models in Intruders: Hide and Seek aren’t a strong point — in fact, they’re pretty bad. My mother, father and sister looked like marionettes and the voice acting was laughable. The dinner-table dialogue in the game’s opening sounded like European actors doing their best imitation of the typical middle-class American family. But our vacation home was freakin’ awesome — a sprawling mansion with its own state of the art panic room and everything (that’s foreshadowing for you Lit majors). While playing Hide and Seek with my sister in the game’s Tutorial, I often just walked off on my own to admire the place.
Strangers At the Door
But it wasn’t long before the real point of Intruders: Hide and Seek revealed itself, as my parents were taken hostage in a home invasion. Three strangers took over the house while my sister and I were in the panic room, and it was left to me to save my family while avoiding getting caught. So this wasn’t a scary game — it was more like Home Alone, but maybe a little bit darker (mind you though, Home Alone is surprisingly dark at times … but I digress). And it was often fun. There was also an underlying story that unfolded piece by piece as I played; it was a pretty interesting tale that explained why these invaders were doing all of this. It might have had a lot of familiar tropes but the writers did a good job of layering it with twists and surprises that had me interested all the way through.
Intruders: Hide and Seek may not have the best character visuals and acting but the gameplay was solid and well implemented. This is a stealth adventure, and I found it to be ideally suited to VR. I had to creep around this big, labyrinthine structure to reach other rooms, retrieve objects, and perform various tasks all while avoiding being seen by the bad guys. A lot of the time I was hiding in the house’s many closets or cupboards, or maybe just around the corner while an enemy walked by. Shaking the DualShock controller up and down to steady my heartbeat was a neat mechanic that perfectly mimicked the real pulse-pounding suspense I genuinely felt at times playing this game.
The house, which is the game’s sole environment, was also excellently designed for the purpose of the game. So many of the tasks I had to complete involved some hard choices as to which way I should go to have the best chance of avoiding detection, and as I played I also began to memorize the house’s layout which gave me more confidence over each of the game’s 8 Chapters. I almost felt a little bit like Kevin in Home Alone at times, or maybe John McClane from Die Hard with the walkie-talkie I used to keep in contact with my sister.
Don’t. Get. Caught.
The first time I did mess up and get caught by an intruder, I braced myself for what I assumed would be a brutal cut-scene of them carving me up with a butcher knife. But no, the game isn’t quite that intense; instead the punishment I did get was perhaps worse than any act of violence — I had to start all over from the beginning of the chapter. That sometimes meant I would lose 30 minutes or more of play time. Because there are no set paths to each objective, Intruders: Hide and Seek doesn’t really have “checkpoints,” and that’s a shame. Honestly, I would have gladly endured being gutted like a fish if it meant I didn’t lose all my progress.
Intruders: Hide and Seek is a short game focused around one thing, and it does it pretty well. The hiding, seeking and sneaking gameplay works, and developers Tessera Studios interweave it with a short, decent story and not too much else to overly complicate things. The characters look like demonic dolls and the voice acting is scary for all the wrong reasons, but luckily they never play enough of a role to bring this cat-and-mouse affair down too much. If you’re looking for a stealth VR title with solid gameplay and a decent story, seek no further – Intruders: Hide and Seek is a worthy VR title hiding in plain sight.
** A PSVR game code was provided by the publisher **
- Fun and well-designed gameplay
- Decent story
- Bizarre character models
- Bad voice acting